The Big Winners

The announcer’s voice booms out across the gardens. “Ladies and Gentlemen. Flora and Fauna. Members of the Garden Community.”
The plants, the critters, the bugs and the birds all wait with rapt attention. The tension in the air is so thick you could cut it with a machete. This is it! The moment is at hand.
“It is my honor and pleasure to announce the medalists for the 2014 Garden Games. The winners of the 2014 Summer Olympics.” The announcer pauses for a moment and savors the silence of the crowd, the tension.
“Receiving the bronze medal is Gloriosa Daisy.”  A huge cheer erupts.  The crowd releases their communal tension in one big raucous hoorah.  They applaud their friend, Gloriosa Daisy.GloriosaDaisy01

The old warhorse.  The natural leader.  The one to whom the plants look for inspiration.  GloriosaDaisy02

Gloriosa, the great performer.  The one who taught them all about strivingGloriosaDaisy04

The pre-season favorite who got caught in a tangle of amazing competition, Gloriosa steps forward and graciously accepts his medal.  He shows nary a hint of disappointment.  Quite the opposite,  Gloriosa appears to be thrilled.  Gloriosa is a born leader, a plant full of charm, charisma and character.  Gloriosa understands to the depth of his flowered soul that not only is this is a time to be gracious, but also a time to celebrate the fact that someone else won.  A true leader wishes the best for his companions.  Gloriosa appears to be genuinely thrilled with the Bronze Medal.  He  accepts the award with a hearty smile as the crowd cheers wildly for their friend.GloriosaDaisy03

The announcer cuts off the cheers by boldly proclaiming, “And the silver medal is awarded to…”  The tension momentarily skyrockets.  All is still and silent.  Even the bumblebees stop buzzing… “Sunflower.”Sunflower01

The crowd goes wild.  Sunflower crumbles into a heap of joyous tears.  She hugs her new best friend forever, Liatris.???????????????????????????????

And steps forward, sobbing, shaking.  Sunflower04

This is affirmation.  Sunflower did not need to win the Gold Medal.  Oh no.  She is entirely satisfied with the Silver Medal.  She would have been happy with Bronze.  All she wanted was to hear her name called out and stand on that podium.  To think of the humiliation she suffered just a short while ago.  She wanted this.  She wanted to show the garden that she could do it.  She wanted the other flowers to hear her name and know that they must accept her as a legitimate bloomer.  ???????????????????????????????

She wanted to show the damn deer that, eat her young shoots as they may, she could persevere and bloom her way to the podium.???????????????????????????????

She wanted to show the birds that she was more than just birdseed.  Love them as she may, she wanted the birds to know that she is more than just a means for them to survive the winter, thank you very much!Birds01

She wanted to step up and accept her award, knowing that here, now, in this moment, everyone is looking at her and cheering for her.  Her!  Sunflower!Sunflower02

The announcer lets the cheers continue for a long time.  Whoops and hollers rebound throughout the garden for several minutes as Sunflower absorbs the affirming moment. 

Eventually the crowd becomes quite and the tension can be felt again.  This is it.  Does Bee Balm, the reigning champion, step forward again?  Or will it be spritely, cheerful Poppy?

“Ladies and Gentlemen.  Flora and Fauna.  Flower lovers everywhere.  It is my most sincere pleasure to announce the big winner of the 2014 Summer Olympics.  The Gold medal for the Garden Games is awarded solely and exclusively to…..  Poppy.”

The crowd smiles as it cheers.  Hooray for Poppy!  Everyone loves Poppy.  ???????????????????????????????

Poppy positively bounces her way to the podium.  She is not shocked.  She knew she could do it.  She just knew it.???????????????????????????????

She knew it from the start and she enjoyed every single moment of the competition.???????????????????????????????

She knew she was ahead from the very beginning and she knew that if she just kept trying and she stuck right with it, this moment would come.  She did it.  She knew she could do it.Poppy002

Poppy beams as she accepts the big award.  Champion!  She likes the sound of that.  Poppy is very happy.???????????????????????????????

Poppy accepts her award and waves cheerfully to the exuberant crowd.  This is her moment.

Being one big, garden community, there are no national anthems to be played.  The tradition here is that the winner of the Gold Medal says a few words, preferably in verse, and Poppy knows just what to say.  Poppy beams to her friends and admirers as she shares with them the words she said when she first began blooming this year.

“Poppy says Hello.  Poppy says I’m free.  Poppy says you know, I’m happy to be me.  I’m fuzzy and I’m furry.  I’m crinkly as can be.  If you have a worry, just take a look at me.”

The crowd goes wild!

28 thoughts on “The Big Winners

  1. That’s right – if you have a worry, just take a look at Jim’s garden!!! 😀 What a magnificence of colors, a little piece of Heaven on Earth! THANK YOU!

  2. Many smiles and chuckles as I read on, especially when I came to the deer! Lovely photos and your garden is heavenly. Thank you Jim. 😀

  3. Yay, Poppy!!! I knew she was going to Win 😀 Glad sunflower is entirely satisfied with the Silver Medal 🙂 🙂
    Thank you, Jim!

    1. This was a pure bloomer contest, though I think Poppy would have won Miss Congeniality too. Yes, that sunflower is quite the handsome flower. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Great. That’s awesome. I’m glad to share a little cheer and even more glad to hear it is well received. Have a great day, Sandra. 🙂

    1. Oh good. You know, I reallyl thought Sunflower would pull it out, but I’m usually wrong about such things. Poppy wins! 🙂

  4. Superb, amazing photos – the flower shots that you make are really incredible! And it’s such a lovely story, Poppy is a legitimate winner! 🙂 I also loved the sunflower photos, especially the one with flame colored petals, never seen one before 🙂 Your place definitely chases away all worries – it’s late here where I am as usual, a new day begins… which happens to be my birthday 🙂 I’m glad the day started in your garden, I like this idea of birthday flower party very much! 🙂 All the best, Tanja

  5. Congratulations to Poppy and how modest of Sunflower and Gloriosa Daisy … very sporting behaviour. Although I think they’re all winners in your beautiful garden, Jim.

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